• President of Qualcomm says that 5G will change everything, from AI to IoT.
  • Lenovo, OPPO, vivo, Xiaomi, ZTE, and Wingtech will join Qualcomm’s 5G Pioneer Initiative.
  • Qualcomm signs a memorandum of understanding with Lenovo, OPPO, vivo, and Xiaomi, all of whom have expressed interest in purchasing Qualcomm’s RF front-end components for the next three years.

From the upcoming 5G Tunable RF front-end components to the 5G Pioneer Initiative, Qualcomm and a number of Chinese electronics giants are gearing up for what’s next to come.

What is 5G, and what can we expect from it?

China is a lucrative market in many ways: not only is it the world’s largest smartphone market, but Chinese electronics manufacturers are growing at an unprecedented speed. Whereas five years ago, companies like Huawei remained largely irrelevant, today, these companies are the primary propellers of worldwide smartphone shipments. As such, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Qualcomm is specifically targeting the Chinese market and Chinese manufacturers in its effort to remain competitive.

Qualcomm and 6 Chinese manufacturers on 5G Pioneer Initiative

At its China Technology Day in Beijing today, the multibillion-dollar telecommunications equipment company announced its plans for 5G. More specifically, Qualcomm will be joined by Lenovo, OPPO, vivo, Xiaomi, ZTE, and Wingtech. Dubbed the 5G Pioneer Initiative, Qualcomm hopes to form partnerships with these leading Chinese manufacturers to develop the necessary infrastructure for 5G technology. Qualcomm claims that together with these companies, it will not only explore “new mobile applications and experiences enabled by 5G, but also… other transformative technologies such as AI and the IoT.”

According to Qualcomm, Chinese mobile users are extremely interested in 5G, 60-percent of surveyed consumers stating that they will likely buy 5G smartphones when available. Qualcomm’s President Cristiano Amon says that 5G will “change everything,” and this is something that’s been echoed by its partners. For instance, Yuanqing Yang, chairman and CEO of Lenovo, stated that AI will be the next industrial revolution and that 5G is the missing piece to that revolution. 

Qualcomm to supply RF front-end solutions to 4 Chinese manufacturers

In addition to the 5G Pioneer Initiative, Qualcomm announced today that it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Lenovo, OPPO, vivo, and Xiaomi. These companies have expressed their intent to purchase Qualcomm’s RF front-end components for the next three years. As the company points out, Qualcomm’s RFFE components “constitute a rich portfolio of comprehensive, system-level modem-to-antenna RF front-end platform solutions, which are designed to enable OEMs to rapidly build mobile devices at scale for easy global expansion.”

In particular, the company emphasizes that its “break-through 5G Tunable RF front-end is designed to enable OEMs to differentiate their 5G products with thinner design, higher performing system-level expertise and 5G product readiness,” which will allow for mobile devices with “wider frequency range, greater capacity, enhanced coverage and cutting-edge power efficiency to address 4G LTE Advanced technology demands, as well as upcoming 5G networks.”

As Cristiano Amon pointed out in his presentation today, 5G is going to bring substantial changes, and there’s no doubt about that; it is a matter of when. 5G won’t be commercially deployed any time soon, but needless to say, current technologies like LTE Advanced will continue to provide important foundations.